Trucker meal deductibility unchanged in 2006: OTA

TORONTO — The Ontario Trucking Association is clarifying a Windsor Star story that incorrectly reported rules regarding the number of allowable daily meal claims of truck drivers have changed for the 2006 taxation year.

But no changes have been made to the meal allowance or the taxes, reports OTA after contacting Canada Revenue Agency officials and clarifying the issue.

“Many Canadian truck drivers will be socked with a huge income tax hike of up to $1,000 each in 2006 that takes effect this week, when Revenue Canada eliminates most of their meal write-offs,” read the Windsor Star story. “Until last week, truckers could claim half the value of a $15 meal for every four hours they spent on the road, up to a maximum of three per day.”

OTA reminds truckers to keep all their meal receipts

“The write-off, which was available without receipts, was worth more than $3,700 per year for most truck drivers — or about $1,000 in federal and provincial income taxes.

“Starting Jan. 1, Revenue Canada has decreed, truck drivers will be able to claim half the value of only one $15 meal per day — if they have been on the road at least 12 hours that day.”

OTA and the CRA were subsequently inundated with calls from trucking companies and drivers who were unaware of the supposed change.

The mistake may have originated when a tax auditor fingered a driver for not driving enough hours to justify claiming more than one meal, officials speculated.

The Windsor Star published a correction.

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